Elon Musk, the new would-be owner of Twitter, talked to the corporate’s workers for the primary time at this time in a Q&A session. The assembly was meant to be a chance for him to assuage worker considerations after the Tesla CEO publicly criticized the company, its leadership, and the number of spambots on the platform in current weeks. But Musk’s responses on some key matters like layoffs, content material moderation, and distant work had been imprecise. They probably did little to fulfill workers anxious about Elon’s management, in accordance with a number of staffers who talked to Recode after the assembly and inner Slack conversations seen by Recode.
“I like Twitter,” Musk stated at the start of the assembly, in accordance with a recording of the assembly obtained by Recode. Musk, who dialed in round 10 minutes late to the videoconference, apparently from his cellphone, added, “Some individuals use their hair to precise themselves, I take advantage of Twitter. I discover it’s the perfect discussion board for speaking with lots of people concurrently, and getting that message on to individuals.”
In the assembly, Musk appeared to again away from a extra absolutist stance toward “freedom of speech” on the platform. He stated that whereas individuals ought to have a proper to freedom of speech, they don’t essentially have “freedom of attain,” that means that Twitter doesn’t should amplify concepts like Holocaust denial on the platform. While his reply on this subject was extra nuanced than a few of his earlier statements, it nonetheless appears unlikely to totally reply worker questions on how precisely Musk will change the corporate’s method to moderating hateful and violent speech.
“There’s freedom of speech or freedom of attain,” Musk stated. “And freedom of speech is one factor, as a result of, like, anybody might simply go into the center of Times Square proper now and say something they need, they might simply stroll into the center of Times Square and deny the Holocaust, okay? You can’t cease them, they may simply do this. But that doesn’t imply you must — that it must be promoted to thousands and thousands of individuals.”
In the 45-minute assembly, Musk didn’t go into an excessive amount of element about his tactical plans as Twitter’s proprietor, giving non-committal solutions about whether or not he has plans to put off workers or drive workers who’re working remotely again within the workplace.
Twitter CMO Leslie Berland requested Musk chosen questions that workers had submitted within the days forward of the assembly, a lot of which had been essential or pressed for extra particulars about his plans to run the corporate. When requested about how he’s fascinated about layoffs at Twitter, Musk replied vaguely.
“The firm does must get wholesome. Right now, the prices exceed the income. So that’s not an awesome scenario to be in,” Musk stated. “And so there must be some rationalization of the headcount and bills to have income be better than the associated fee. Otherwise, Twitter is solely not viable.”
“Anyone who is clearly, like, a big contributor, ought to don’t have anything to fret about,” Musk clarified. He equally stated that if an worker is “distinctive” then distant work is ok, however that the “bias could be very a lot towards in-person work.”
Since first placing in his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter in April, Musk has created a flurry of uncertainty in regards to the deal, at one level tweeting that it was “on maintain” as a consequence of his considerations in regards to the prevalence of spambots on the platform. The transfer raised questions on whether or not Musk was attempting to renegotiate the deal at a cheaper price or making an attempt to again out altogether.
While some workers are excited for Musk’s arrival and hope he will help the corporate develop its dimension and profitability, the volatility across the deal and Musk’s unclear idea of freedom of speech have left many Twitter workers anxious about how he plans to deal with the platform as soon as he’s in cost.
“He is demonstrating a harmful lack of expertise about technical, coverage, and operational issues,” stated one Twitter worker after the assembly, who has been granted anonymity over concern of retaliation. “The drawback is that that lack might adversely have an effect on the entire world. This isn’t nearly workers. Employees care in regards to the affect of their product on the planet.”
Musk, nonetheless, appeared assured in his skill to run Twitter. When requested what he has an understanding of and what he must study in regards to the firm, Musk stated he will get Twitter as a result of he’s an excellent person (Musk is likely one of the platform’s most-followed accounts with 98.3 million followers).
“I actually am going to have a robust understanding of the product as a result of I take advantage of Twitter every single day, virtually,” stated Musk. “What I’ve much less understanding of is, you understand, like, this form of bot spam or multi-user account — principally, something that impacts the monetizable every day person numbers might be my greatest concern.”
Musk agreed to return to a different Q&A with Twitter workers if there have been extra questions.